I remember planning my future, where I’d go to college, what I’d study, and how my future career would allow for some flexibility for the unexpected. It was a logical, researched and well-thought-out plan.
I’ve come to realize much of the anxiety, distress, and ultimately dis-ease in my life originated from my stubbornness to follow this plan at all costs. The amount of energy expended trying to control my life depleted my ability to respond to the inevitable “shit show.”
It takes great restraint to focus my efforts on what is happening right now rather than attempting a stranglehold on the cornucopia of “what ifs.” Now, my plan is like following a map to a destination unbeknownst to me. The map helps guide me, but I must find my own way.
The stress, hurt, and fear piles on creating a jagged mountain of distress. Then, all it takes is a feather landing on top or a whisper of breath for it all to come tumbling down. The taste of blood in the back of my throat, a raging migraine, and my heart beating out of my chest – the consequences of holding it all in for so long. Afterward, there is clarity and motivation to carry on.
How can you sleep at night? We hardly sleep at all, yet I suspect you sleep just fine. Afterall, you never did anything wrong, and these memories we all fight so hard to resolve are an elaborate fabrication. What a lovely, fantasy world you in which you dwell. Beware, for it will all crumble down eventually and when it does, we will be stronger than ever. Relish your memories of when you had complete power and control over us because those times are extinct!
So many things are passed on to our children including some of our most significant struggles. What a joy it is to see the positive aspects of family traits reflected in our children and what a devastating reality it is to see them struggle with pain. My youngest daughter has migraines. She got them from me. My mom and my maternal grandmother both had migraines, and I suspect this genetic condition goes back many generations more than any of us know.
Today, after missing yet another day of school, my sweet daughter is in bed with her head on an ice pack and her room as dark as can be in the middle of the day. I know exactly how she feels yet I am powerless to end her pain. It was just after she was born that my migraines became chronic and ultimately, intractable. She knows what her future could hold and it both scares her and makes her sad. Another journey is at hand because we must find a way to control/prevent her migraines before they take over her life. “I’m so sorry little one. It is part of who we are, but I won’t let it overtake you.”